Belgium: Former Euro stadium failed to meet UEFA regulations


Belgium: Former Euro stadium failed to meet UEFA regulations It used to be perhaps the most impressive stadium of Euro 2000. But after resizing and recent Europa League qualification of Sporting Charleroi, it proved not eligible for international games any more…


This story goes to prove how times change. During Euro 2000 the stadium in Charleroi was one of the most stunning with its temporary three-tier stands and tall roof. That sight we’ll remember forever! But later the reality of limited domestic demand made it feasible to decrease size, making modernizations unnecessary.

In the summer of last year the stadium’s downsizing operation ended with roof on top the now-single-tiered stands (except main grandstand). It would have been enough, but Sporting Charleroi won themselves a spot in Europa League after 21 years of absence.

Stade du Pays de CharleroiPhoto: Sporting Charleroi

And it turned out the same stadium once able to hold Europe’s biggest tournament is now not suitable for even early phases of the Europa League. There’s a very simple reason: backrests. Nowadays individual seats are required to provide backrests, while in 2000 that wasn’t the case.

So earlier in June removing seats began. Replacement of all 14,000+ won’t be done until after the season starts, so in early games only two grandstands will be open to fans.